After reports of a missing swimmer in the Masonboro Inlet, a search by rescue crews from Wrightsville Beach Police, Wrightsville Beach Ocean Rescue, the U.S. Coast Guard, Wilmington Police Department’s SABLE helicopter and Sea Tow produced no results.
However, Wrightsville Beach Fire Department Chief Glen Rogers said it was unclear if there was in fact a missing swimmer. There were reports from two people on the beach who said they believed they saw a swimmer in the Masonboro Inlet who went missing. But Rogers said that an off-duty lifeguard who was fishing in the area said he never saw the swimmer.
Rogers said that rescuers searched for an hour, meeting the department’s rescue protocol standards, but found no sign of the swimmer. In addition to the boat and helicopter search, the rescue crews also used the Wrightsville Beach Fire Department’s drone. The rescuers also used a special Coast Guard buoy to help determine the direction the currents may have carried the swimmer.
After the current took the buoy to the north jetty wall, a WBOR swimmer went to the area to see if there was a body and to evaluate the currents in that area. Rogers said that if there was a missing swimmer, the currents likely would have pushed the swimmer up to the surface, making it likely they would have been discovered after an hour.